There have been a number of estimates bandied around in respect of the likely cost of final elements of the Reform of Public Administration, specifically the reduction from twenty-six to eleven local councils. Whatever the current number (and it is in the £millions), it is being politically justified by projected ‘savings’ brought about by a smaller number of Councils and ‘efficiencies’.
Of course it is far too early to comment on whether the proposed savings will outweigh the cost of implementing this significant change in local government. While most of this discussion is in committees and considered by the powers that be, the first indication to the public that ‘costs’ might not actually be managed all that well has come in the shape of the information leaflet through the doors of residents who will soon be within the boundaries of the new Lisburn/Castlereagh amalgamation.
In fact it has not been ‘the’ information leaflet, but in fact six of the same information leaflet (above). All of these, all the same, three on Monday and a further three on Wednesday, dropped onto the doormat of the same ‘The Occupier’ who is a Lisburn/Castlereagh resident. Neighbours have similarly received the same number of poly-sealed leaflets. Indeed, on asking the postman, it seems that an additional postman has been drafted in to assist the regular postman due to the volume of additional mail!
Keeping in touch with the electorate, or general public, is one thing, but this seems both a wasteful and expensive means of ‘reinforcing’ the message.
If this is an early indication of the ‘Road to Reform’ it will be both a costly one, and a massively inefficient use of resources. This is a small indication: though as they say; “mind the pennies…” and perhaps the £millions will look after themselves.
For the record, the Lisburn and Castlereagh Councillors who are responsible for this zealous distribution of information are pictured below.